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“Excellent location, staff and price!” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Turquoise Shell Inn

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Turquoise Shell Inn
Ranked #6 of 7 Hotels in Simpson Bay
new york
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
“Excellent location, staff and price!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 November 2008

My husband and I spent 5 nights here in Nov 2008. The inn is in a very convenient location with parking, and the staff were extremely helpful and provided current advice on activities. Nightlife and beaches within walking distance--althought I would recomend renting a car to explore the island. Our room was very clean--nice bathroom and kitchen, and bedroom with air conditioning (which was a must with the humidity.) Overall an excellent place to stay (and affordable.)

  • Liked — Location
  • Stayed November 2008, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Check-in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank 3islands
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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237 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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    9
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    4
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (37)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
new york, usa
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 November 2008

What a marvellous quick clean up Carter, Marcus and Polly did after hurrican Ivan (which supposedly missed the island!) .

This hotel is an affordable hidden gem. Well run, super location. Once you get over the initial shock of the short road leading up to the front gate (public road) and you enter through the gates you find yourself in an oasis in the middle of restaurant row. It is very quiet (other than the occasional airplane taking off at the nearby airport) you have no idea how centrally located you are.

Would highly recommend to people not looking for the resort style vacation and who like to go off visiting all the fantastic beaches the island has to offer. A different beach every day. Favorite beach Dawn Beach - nice waves and The Gallion at Orient Bay very calm.

Thanks Turquoise Shell Inn.
Pamela and Leslie
Brooklyn, New York
Bussum, The Netherlands

Helpful?
Thank pvdbNewYork
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Michigan
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 October 2008

My husband and I decided on the Antilles to celebrate our 25th anniversary. After months of research we selected St. Maarten - and with the help of tripadvisor.com found a very affordable, clean, and pleasant inn on Simpson Bay. Our hosts, Marcus, Carter and Pauline treated us like family. They provided advice on places to see and eat as well as insight on local customs and practices. We recognized their advice was honestly given when our first night there we ran into them at Ric's - all of us there for the nightly special.

If you are looking to be part of a big party crowd, with noisy neighbors, lots of organized activities, multiple pools, room service, and fancy meals - pay much more and select a resort. But, if you want to enjoy a nice, safe, clean, friendly environment where you can rest comfortably after a long day at the beach, shopping, or casino, Turquoise Shell Inn is an excellent choice.

Other favorites included our excursion to Prickly Pear Island on the Bluebird for a day of sun, food and snorkeling - the crew is fabulous. The Driftwood Boat Bar on Maho Beach is a fun hangout with Maya and Thelma keeping us laughing and well served. Ric's was our home base for food, drinks, and keeping up with our sports teams. All in all, we enjoyed the island, the locals, and the beautiful beaches. Amy and Chuck

Stayed October 2008
Helpful?
2 Thank GoBlueMichigan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Netherlands
Level Contributor
124 reviews
117 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 394 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 August 2008

I used this affordable and well-run hotel as my base for a 10 day vacation in St Maarten. Convenient access to both a beach and the real world is part of what makes this hotel enjoyable. I see it as a good choice for independent travellers.


It's a decent hotel, especially for the price you pay. You get a two-room suite with small kitchen. Air conditioning. Television with multiple stations. Newspaper delivered every morning. Everything is clean and feels more upscale than not (although the building itself is older). There's a small pool, enough to cool you down. There is a nice long quiet beach right behind the hotel, good for early morning strolls, swimming and snorkelling (bring rock shoes). It's not the kind of busy beach where you find jetskis, restaurants and rows of deckchairs. What I also liked was that there was a bit of a Caribbean community still extant along the road by the beach. It hasn't been totally developed out of existance in this area yet. The area had a bit character.

The hotel is located in Simpson Bay, surely one of the better parts of the island to stay in. The main road is located on the front side of the hotel. The hotel is set off the road so you don't hear the traffic. In the immediate area I found everything I needed while on vacation - wide variety of restaurants and bars (two dozen?), grocery stores, laundry, shops, Marci's gym, scuba shop, bike rental, car rental, drug store, internet place, and so on. All of these places are within easy walking distance. A little further away (still conceivably walkable) is the Simpson Bay Marina, Airport, casinos and Megaplex 7 cinema. Really, a nice holiday town, Florida style. If you don't want to walk at all, you you can hop on one of the island mini-buses (cost $1.50) that come by every 3 minutes, whisking you away to these spots, other beaches, and actually almost every corner of the island if you want to. Part of the attraction of this hotel is that you have access to all this while still being 20 metres away from the beach.

I think you get the idea by now that you can enjoy your vacation at this hotel even if you don't hire a car. Or of course you can hire a car, which a lot of people do (as indicated by the surprising amount of traffic on this island). There's more than enough parking at the hotel.

St Maarten is a developed, dynamic, complex, busy island. For those seeking rest and nature there are isolated corners and places to explore, but don't think this is a quiet backwater. You can dine out, party, and go out clubbing. The Dutch side of the island felt quite American to me. Part of that was due to the traffic, American fast food places, American newspapers and magazines, the American accents on the radio, and the American visitors and residents. The American feel of Simpson Bay is something I personally enjoyed, but if you're trying to avoid that you may want something on the French side.

For Europeans, this island is affordable, with a capital $. The dollar is used everywhere on the Dutch side. You understand what an enormous advantage this is when you're asked to pay for meals on the French side in euros. They'll let you pay in dollars, but the conversion rate is a killer. Some places on the French side take the dollar at par with the euro, but I don't understand why anyone would pay in euros then. The exchange rate difference is apparently creating problems for the French side.

I enjoyed St Maarten and would go back there. It's a hub for seeing this part of the Caribbean. But there are issues on the island. Crime in particular is apparently a problem although I didn't personally experience it. Indeed, everyone was friendly and helpful.

Were there any downsides of staying at this hotel? Not really. It was virtually perfect for me. The windows were a little small perhaps. The hotel owners have done a great job with this older property. They were friendly, went out of their way, and dealt with everything efficiently. They read and answer their e-mails, so if I were you I'd just contact them directly by e-mail.

  • Liked — Location, proximity to beach & amenities
  • Disliked — Nothing really
  • Stayed July 2008, travelled solo
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Check-in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank zwerf
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Barrie Ontario
Level Contributor
49 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 61 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 June 2008

stayed for 1 night last week as we couldn't get our primary hotel for the day we arrived. I picked the hotel based on tripadvisor comments. this is a hidden gem. The unit we were in had a seperate living room kitchen area and then a completely seperate bedroom. ample space. Had great conversation with the owners and we discussed first impressions. Unfortunately the roadway leading to the Inn is in rough shape with some shady looking establishments but once through the gate to the property you absolutely forget about the off-property surroundings. make no mistake this is more a motel type establishment than a hotel, but it is a good one. The owners have made the best of their location and carved out a useful niche in the market. One thing that is lost in the website is that their prices already INCLUDE the taxes and service charges that others add after their website prices. We paid $115 for the night, nothing else. This means the hotel is really only $100 per night beefore taxes. This is an added bonus that paid for the first round of drinks. lots of places to eat in the area and Simpson Bay beach right outside the back gate. This is a great beach to relax and often forgotten in beach reviews.

  • Liked — location
  • Disliked — driveway to property
  • Stayed June 2008, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Check-in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank spurgec
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CT
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 May 2008

If you are looking for a great place, look no more than the Turquoise Shell Inn. Your hosts Carter and Marcus are personable, professional, and very, very helpful. The location is great and the property is wonderful. The rooms are very, very clean and a pleasure to stay in. Parking is right on site and the beach is a stone's throw away. We have stayed here for the past 2 years and will definitely return again next year. You cannot go wrong at the Turquoise Shell Inn.
David and Elaine
CT

  • Stayed March 2008
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Check-in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank laineCT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
boston
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 March 2008

We just returned from a week on the island and can't say enough good things about our time there. The T Shell Inn is a charming small inn with wonderful service and lots of homey touches. Carter and Marcus were very helpful and went out of their way to help us have an enjoyable and comfortable stay- whether it was recommending local sites/beaches to explore , loaning us extra sunblock and snorkel gear, or dropping off the daily paper for us.

The accomodations were perfect for us-very affordable, clean, nicely decorated, and spacious for 2 people; It was great to have the small kitchenette available and I grew to love the wake up call from a rooster a few houses away each morning (I recommend some foam earplugs if this bothers you!) We did not rent a car and easily navigated the island using the local buses and an occasional taxi. The T Shell is an easy walk to many local bars and restaurants and a grocery store, convenience store and lovely french bakery and is steps away from simpson bay beach.

  • Liked — accomodating hosts,clean and affordable, close proximity to beaches,restaurants and local bus
  • Disliked — bed was a bit hard; could have used more soaps/conditioner
  • Stayed March 2008, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Check-in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank sunnydaysBoston
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Turquoise Shell Inn

Property: Turquoise Shell Inn
Address: 34 Simpson Bay Rd., Simpson Bay 00000, St. Maarten-St. Martin
Region: Caribbean > St. Maarten-St. Martin > Sint Maarten > Simpson Bay
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 7 Hotels in Simpson Bay
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:3 star — Turquoise Shell Inn 3*
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A small 10 room Inn located in the heart of Simpson Bay. Easy walking distance to all manner of shopping. Simpson Bay beach just our the back gate. Each unit is a small one bedroom apartment with equipped kitchen and private air cionditioned bedroom ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Turquoise Shell Hotel Simpson Bay
Turquoise Shell Simpson Bay
Turquoise Shell Inn St. Maarten-St. Martin/Simpson Bay

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